More Than a Fling - Chapter One
Add: 5 August 2015 / 09:04
Meg let out a relieved sigh as she kicked off her sandals and leaned on the balcony railing of her second floor hotel room. She tucked her russet-coloured curls behind her ear and gazed at the tropical gardens below. Butterflies hovered over lush plants and the breeze carried with it distant laughter from the swimming pool.
Her skin gleamed with moisture and her long hair clung to the back of her neck. She absently trailed her fingers over her shoulder, wincing at the tenderness there. After only two days in Bali, the harsh rays had already given her a rose-tinted glow. She shuddered to think what damage might’ve been done if she hadn’t kept up her endless applications of sunscreen.
She’d spent her first day taking a leisurely swim, followed by an afternoon nap that had somehow slipped into early evening. Most of her second day had been filled haggling with street vendors for souvenirs to take home to family and friends. Now, all she wanted to do was peel off her tank top and skirt and stand under the shower until her skin cooled. She’d maybe follow that up with a quiet dinner and a few glasses of wine at one of the local restaurants.
Meg used her toe to scratch the back of her knee and closed her eyes, soothed by the sound of waves crashing against sand. If she stood on her tiptoes and craned her neck, she could see Kuta beach from her balcony. She intended to spend some time there doing as little as possible tomorrow.
Relaxation had been her sole focus during the planning of her holiday. For the past two years she’d put all her energy into setting up what had turned out to be a surprisingly successful florist and gift shop venture back home in Melbourne. After convincing her younger sister, Jane, to jump on board recently and help with the general running of the business, the time had finally come to take a much needed two week break.
Meg’s grey eyes flickered open as a whistled tune disturbed her thoughts. She leaned over the railing, searching the grounds below for the source of the sound.
She caught sight of a man strolling along a paved walkway beneath the canopy of trees, his white shirt hanging open and his hands dipped casually in the pockets of his navy shorts.
Mesmerised by the view, Meg watched him emerge from the dappled shade into the sunlight. The breeze ruffled his black hair and a dusting of stubble covered his jaw. She swallowed hard as her gaze wandered over his bare chest and the flat plane of his stomach. His skin was tanned the colour of honey and looked good enough to lick.
Oh, God. She raised her eyes and let out a laughing breath, trying to shake off the lustful haze surrounding her. She’d obviously been deprived of sex for far too long.
Drawn by the allure of his dark looks, Meg’s attention drifted back to the man. A slight smile crossed her lips as she contemplated his presence. He appealed to her…for reasons other than the obvious. She caught her lip between her teeth and watched him a while longer, deciding it was the relaxed vibe surrounding him. He looked so at ease with himself it almost made her envious.
He lifted his eyes and shot her a glance, taking her by surprise. His gaze clashed with hers, lingering for a while before taking a slow tour over her. Meg’s heartbeat quickened as his jaunty tune slipped into one long, low whistle of appreciation.
Her breath hitched and a shiver ran between her shoulder blades. Her fingers tightened around the railing as a sudden urge came over her to smooth her hair and thrust her breasts out, just to give him something to really look at. Where had that come from?
A grin appeared on his face and a warm chuckle floated up to greet her. Before she could respond, he disappeared beneath the balcony and the moment ended.
Meg blew out a slow breath and closed her eyes. She pressed her palms to her cheeks, surprised by the heat of her skin. How could she react this way to a man she’d only just set eyes on?
She debated whether or not to make even more of a fool of herself by yanking open the door to check if he was staying on the same floor as her, but she’d come here for relaxation though, not romance. Holiday flings weren’t her style.
Quashing a feeling of disappointment she couldn’t quite explain, Meg pulled her shoulders back and tried her best to force him from her mind.
Better to indulge in the wine instead. Much safer.
Refreshed from her shower, wearing a black halter top and matching shorts, Meg soaked up the sights and sounds of Legian as she strolled toward an Italian restaurant recommended to her by the hotel receptionist.
She’d hooked a pair of silver hoops through her ears and piled her curls high on her head, allowing the breeze to swirl around her bare neck and shoulders. Her sandals slapped against her heels as she took her time walking the crowded street, pausing now and then to avoid another pedestrian or a stray dog.
The pungent smell of incense clung to the air and a lazy drumbeat pulsed from the speakers of a music shop. An elderly Balinese man crouched in an alcove with a grey monkey perched on his knee. The man sent Meg a toothless grin that creased his leathery face. She couldn’t help but smile back.
She’d never spent a holiday alone before and found herself enjoying the freedom and solitude even more than she’d expected. The idea of doing whatever she wanted without having to consult someone else over every activity relaxed her.
Meg turned onto a side street and smiled when she spotted the restaurant on the opposite side of the road. Before she could think better of it, she clutched her handbag and darted out into the stream of traffic. Exhaust fumes hovered in the thick heat, overwhelming her senses as she squeezed between a taxi and a hoard of motor scooters. She held her breath and focused on the curb, her heart thundering with relief when she managed to reach the other side alive.
Meg tucked a loose strand of hair behind her ear and took a moment to catch her breath before stepping inside the restaurant.
Chilled air greeted her in the darkened surrounds, creating a trail of goose bumps over her skin. She clicked her tongue against her teeth and quickly scanned the layout, wondering whether to satisfy her appetite for food or have a drink at the bar first.
A lounge section filled one side, adjoined by a restaurant area where a few tourists were already enjoying dinner. The bar took up the length of one wall, backlit by a pink glow, highlighting the collection of bottles displayed there. A middle-aged couple occupied one end of the counter, while a man sat alone at the other end, just out of reach of the subtle lighting.
Meg found her gaze drawn to him. His hair was almost as dark as the short-sleeved shirt moulded across his back. He lounged on the stool with his knees spread wide and his elbows resting on the bar. She watched him tilt the glass in his hand and swallow its contents. As he signalled to the bartender for another drink, her attention lingered on the long legs stretched out beneath his khaki shorts.
A feeling of familiarity washed over her and it suddenly hit her. She could still hear his whistled tune; feel the heat of his knowing look as it caressed her from head to toe.
He shot her a glance over his shoulder as if he could again sense her presence. Meg’s limbs tensed with awareness and her fingers twitched at her sides. He raised his dark brows in challenge, his eyes glinting with amusement in the dim light.
She caught sight of a waiter approaching and knew the time had come to make up her mind. She could either ignore the pull of attraction or succumb to it and see where it took her.
Meg smoothed her palms over her shorts and decided to be brave. She sent the waiter a quick smile of apology and walked toward the bar on legs that weren’t quite steady.
The man reached over and pulled out a seat for her as she approached. His eyes remained fixed on hers, the contact thrilling her more than she cared to admit. Meg stopped beside him and swallowed her nerves, willing her heart to stop hammering.
“Are you stalking me?” he asked.
She noticed the amusement in his expression. His voice was smooth and deep, stirring the butterflies in her belly. She choked on a laugh and took the seat beside him, dropping her handbag at her feet. “You’d probably like that.”
A corner of his mouth hitched. “You’re probably right. Can I buy you a drink?”
“Only if you’ll let me buy the next one.” She hoped her reply didn’t come across as too presumptuous. He could be waiting here for a friend or girlfriend.
He smiled. “What would you like?”
She requested a white wine and when her chardonnay arrived, it occurred to her that she should probably introduce herself. “My name’s Meg, by the way.”
“Hi, Meg, I’m Jack.”
She took a long sip of her drink and settled in to get to know him better.
It took only half an hour of small talk for her to feel at ease in his presence. The words flowed effortlessly between them, creating a cosy atmosphere. She learned he was thirty-two, had an older brother but no sisters, and worked as a financial advisor in Sydney. They shared their impressions of Bali and skimmed over other topics, safe conversation that allowed her to relax.
While she listened to him talk, it surprised Meg just how much his personality drew her in; the warmth of his gaze, the heat from his thigh as it rested alongside hers. He gave her his complete attention, making her feel an irresistible urge to reach out and touch him. It took a concerted effort to keep her hands in her lap.
When the conversation finally faltered, she sank into the comfortable silence with him for a while.
“So…” Jack said, sending her a sideways glance. “I’m guessing you’re in Bali alone?”
Meg nodded. “I sort of ran away.”
His brows pulled together. “From?”
She drank from her glass, enjoying the cool slide of liquid down her throat. “I was in danger of becoming a workaholic, so I decided to get away for a while. What about you?”
The ice clinked in his glass as he took a drink. “My brother and his wife were married here ten years ago. I was invited along when they came back last week to renew their vows.”
“Really?” Meg smiled and smoothed her hair from her forehead. “That’s sweet. Are they still here?”
He chuckled at her response. “No, they left yesterday with the other guests. I take it you’re a romantic.”
Meg took another sip of wine and sighed. “I am.”
“How do you feel about holiday romances?”
She picked up on his playful tone and fidgeted with her hoop earring, trying to ignore the spark of interest it ignited inside her. “I’m more of a relationship kind of girl.”
“Shame.” His eyes lit with humour. “We could’ve had some fun.”
“We still could, you know. It’s possible to have fun just being friends with a woman.”
“Ah, not for me. I’ve tried, but sex always gets in the way.”
Meg watched the Adam’s apple bob in his throat as he took a long drink. A languid heat seeped through her that had nothing to do with the temperature in the room. She’d foregone wearing a bra and her nipples brushed against the loose fabric of her halter top. She shifted in her seat, uncomfortably aware of his effect on her.
One night stands had never been a temptation for her in the past; the idea of sleeping with someone she’d just met seemed so impersonal, uncomfortable. Now, though, with Jack’s gaze travelling over her, Meg had to wonder whether she’d been wrong to deny herself the experience.
“Are you involved in a relationship at the moment?” she asked, finishing the last of her wine.
“No, I’m not.” He set his empty glass down on the bar and turned his body to face her. “Are you planning on propositioning me?”
“Hmm.” Meg suppressed a shiver when his hair-coarsened skin slid against her thigh. Her eyes lingered on his strong jaw, the dark stubble there. She wanted to nuzzle the spot just below his ear where the pulse beat in his neck. The thought made her feel ridiculous and she let out a laugh. “I think I need to stop drinking.”
His eyes glimmered with amusement as he held up two fingers to the bartender. “I don’t think you’ve had enough.”
“You would say that.” Meg smiled and turned toward him. The crowd in the bar had grown since her arrival but the increase in noise barely registered. Her knees became locked between Jack’s and her brow furrowed as she watched him, trying to figure out this strange connection they shared. She’d never felt such a pull toward any other man in the past. The chemistry all but bubbled between them.
“You know, it’d be easier if you just kissed me.” Jack’s eyes sparkled as he teased her. “It’ll help break some of the tension.”
She shook her head and swallowed a laugh, her body warming to the invitation in his tone. “That’s only going to make things worse. Besides, I prefer taking things slow.”
Their drinks arrived and he thanked the bartender before turning his attention back to her. “So…try a slow kiss first.”
The desire to do just that overwhelmed her. Meg closed her eyes and inhaled through her nose, imagining her mouth pressed to his. The idea appealed to her more than she’d guessed it could. She let out the breath she’d been holding and opened her eyes, searching out his. “What if I did kiss you?” she asked. “Would you try to take over and hurry things along?”
The smile that touched his lips was far too appealing. “I wouldn’t dream of it.”
Meg fought against a smile of her own and narrowed her eyes at him as she swiped her glass from the bar. She took a fortifying swallow and placed her wine back on the counter. What the hell, she thought, wasn’t this what holidays were for? The freedom to be who she wanted to be around people she’d never met?
With a quick glance around the room, Meg rose from her stool and stood before him. “I can’t believe I’m doing this,” she said. “You’ve taken all the romance out of it now and turned it into a challenge.” The flat of her belly rubbed against his shirt as she stepped into the space between his legs. Her palms slid over his shoulders, her fingers flexing into the muscles there. “Are you ready?” she asked, watching him.
“Always.” Jack’s hands curved over her hips and drew her closer. His eyes were warm as they gazed into hers. “Do your best. I promise not to judge.”
She bit her lip to contain a grin. “I’ve reached the stage now where I have to kiss you just to shut you up.”
Jack’s eyes drifted closed and his shoulders shuddered as he laughed. His subtle cologne smelled warm on his skin and he radiated relaxed male sensuality. It made her want to tackle him to the floor and tear at his clothes. She had a hard time concentrating on the task at hand now she’d moved this close to him. It would be difficult holding back once they got started.
“Do you want some pointers?” he asked, peeking at her from one half-opened eye.
“I think I can manage.” Meg used her thumb to gently close his lid and pressed her lips there, kissing the place where sensitive skin met thick dark lashes. Her fingers delved into the hair at his temples, cradling his head as she leaned closer. “You have a really sexy mouth,” she said, giving him a warm, intimate peck beside his lips.
His hands tightened at her hips as her mouth brushed his. Just the slightest touch sent a tremor through both of them. It gave her a heady sense of power having him sit passively by while she took her time exploring him. She drew his lower lip between hers, suckling gently on his flesh while her thumbs stroked his cheeks. His palm warmed her back, sweeping over her spine in slow circles.
Meg relished the closeness of him, the strength of his shifting muscles beneath her fingertips. She sighed and pressed her mouth fully to his, craving the connection. Her eyes closed and her arms wound around his neck. She dangled her hands over his shoulders, abandoning all thoughts of control and tumbling into the kiss.
Jack’s lips were warm and sensually moulded. His mouth moved lazily, thoroughly beneath hers, his touch both relaxing and arousing her. His hands caressed her from hips to shoulder blades, holding her close. He touched his tongue to hers, a quick flicker that made her whimper deep in her throat.
Jack sank his hand into the hair at her nape, firm but gentle, encouraging a rush of desire inside her. She pressed her body closer, straining against him as his other hand crept over her hip. He held her to him, so close she could feel his burgeoning erection.
They’d already crossed a line she didn’t want to cross, but she couldn’t help herself, couldn’t hold back. Her fingers twined in his hair, tightening in the thick strands. He growled and squeezed her ass. His heart pounded against her chest, giving her comfort knowing the encounter affected him just as much as it did her.
Jack tore his mouth from hers, pressing soft, damp kisses from her cheek to her temple. He nipped at her earlobe and touched his tongue to the pulse point in her throat.
Meg lifted her chin as his lips nibbled a trail along her jaw. “This is getting out of hand,” she said breathlessly. “I knew it would.”
“Come back to my room,” he whispered against her ear. “I want to take my time with you.”
“I…” Meg bit her lip as a riot of erotic visions clouded her mind. His thumb brushed her nipple while he waited for her answer, not helping matters at all. Her body craved his touch and he’d only given her a preview of what lay in store for her. Meg had no idea how she’d handle the awkwardness once their encounter had ended, but at this point, with the heat of his gaze warming her skin, she didn’t care.
She drew a deep breath and decided to allow the sensual side of her personality to take over. The emotions could be dealt with later once her mind had cleared and his hands no longer distracted her.
Meg looked him in the eye and gave his mouth a loud kiss. “Take me there.”
She gasped as Jack pressed her against the closed door to his hotel room. Her gaze flitted over his shoulder, checking the tiled hallway for other guests. He hadn’t given her a chance to catch her breath after the short trip back from the restaurant. He’d pulled her along beside him, his warm hand clasping hers as they’d hurried through the crowded streets.
Now, his mouth travelled over her collarbone as he turned the key in the lock behind her, and she found herself breathless for other reasons. “I thought you wanted to take your time,” she said.
“Not anymore.” He nibbled her earlobe. “Hard and fast…then slow and deep.”
Meg closed her eyes and drew a shaky breath. Her hands grabbed fistfuls of his shirt and she leaned her head against the door. Jack’s mouth moved over her throat, leaving a trail of kisses that had her body straining against him. Her lips parted and a heavy sigh slid free.
He curved his hand around her nape, kissing her hard as he tugged at the tie holding her halter top in place. With a quick turn of the handle behind her, he had the door swinging open. Meg’s eyes shot open and she cried out in surprise, stumbling backwards into his room.
She glanced over her shoulder at the space that was almost identical to hers; inviting bed, opened suitcase on the floor, loose change on top of the bar fridge. Her reflection stared back at her from the dressing table mirror and in a daze, she watched as the halter straps slithered from her neck to pool at her waist, leaving her bare breasts on display.
Frigid air rushed over her, hardening her nipples to sensitive points. She turned her head just as Jack eased the door closed behind him. He took a step closer, his attention lingering on her breasts. “Oh, Meg.” A smile curled the corner of his mouth as his eyes met hers.
Her limbs trembled as he closed the distance between them. She didn’t even consider feeling self-conscious about the freckles dotting her skin or the triangular tan-lines she’d acquired during her holiday. His expression said it all. He either didn’t notice her flaws or the urgency between them had grown to the point he no longer cared.
Meg reached for him, her fingers struggling with the buttons on his shirt until she’d exposed his chest. She wanted to feel skin on skin, press herself to him. She ran her palms over his hard flesh, delighting in his masculine scent and the twitching of his muscles. She leaned in and flicked the tip of her tongue over his nipple, smiling as he gave a quick shudder.
“I have to-” Jack sank his hands into her hair, pulling her clip free so that loose curls tumbled over her shoulders. He tossed the clip aside and tilted her head up to meet his gaze. “I need to be inside you.”
Her breath caught at the intensity in his eyes. She slid her arms around his neck and pressed her mouth to his, plastering her breasts against his hair-roughened skin. Passion and need took hold of her. Meg stepped out of her sandals, moaning softly as he worked on her shorts and panties, shoving them both to her ankles along with her bundled halter top.
His hands kneaded her buttocks, pulling her hips harder against him. Her body warmed with pleasure under his touch. She stood naked before him, completely exposed while he remained clothed. It came as a pleasant surprise to realise her sudden vulnerability only heightened her desire.
Meg slipped her hands between their bodies and struggled with the opening on his shorts, yanking the zipper down just enough to reach in and wrap her fingers around his thick length. “I want you,” she said against his open mouth. “I want this.” She tightened her grip on him, spreading the moisture dotting the head of his cock with her thumb.
His breath left him in a low hiss. He gripped the backs of her thighs and lifted her up against him. With one arm snaked under her ass and the other supporting her back, Jack turned and pressed her against the wall. He kissed her mouth hard and whispered against her parted lips, “Hold on tight.”
She wrapped her legs around him, linking her ankles at the base of his spine. His tongue flicked her earlobe as his erection slid slowly along the moistened channel of her pussy. He kept his eyes on hers as he positioned his cock at her warm entrance.
Meg held her breath while he slid inside her, his pulsing length filling her inch by delectable inch. It had been so long since she’d been with a man it wasn’t an easy fit. “Oh, God.” She tipped her head back against the wall and sighed with relief.
His buttocks tensed under her heels and his stomach muscles grew taut as he shoved against her. He squeezed her rear, pressing her closer as his thrusts gained momentum.
Meg knew this wasn’t the time for soft words or gentle touches, not the time to explore and arouse. An ache had grown inside them both that demanded release. Her arms locked around his neck and their mouths met, Jack’s stubble rasping her skin as his tongue lashed hers.
His biceps flexed, hugging her ribs as he lifted and lowered her on his cock. She threaded her fingers into his hair, gripping him, holding his mouth to hers. A groan rumbled in his chest as she bucked her hips, meeting his thrusts with her own.
She felt weightless in his arms, free, overwhelmed by the passion of the moment. Her mouth sought out his throat, kissing softly as his cock hammered inside her. Her breasts bounced against his chest, the hairs smattered across his skin rubbing her sensitive nipples.
Meg licked the shell of his ear. “Your cock feels so good inside me,” she whispered. Her breaths came in jolts and her eyes drifted closed as she hung on, revelling in the hard heat of him.
“You’re so hot, so wet.” His voice came out husky and low. He squeezed her hips, his fingers digging into her flesh.
Pressure built inside her, radiating out from her inner thighs, spreading through her body. Meg gasped as his hand enclosed her breast, his thumb working her nipple into a taut peak. She whimpered against his mouth when the rush of need quickly became release, speeding through her. “Oh, God, Jack, you’re making me come,” she said. Her thighs tightened around him and her mouth dropped open. Her back arched and her breasts mashed against his chest as a low moan tore from her throat.
He growled at the sound of her reaction, his breaths coming in short, sharp bursts. His hand slid over her shoulder, gripping the back of her neck while he continued his relentless pace.
Meg cried out and held him against her. She quivered in his arms, relishing the ripples of pleasure as they kept on coming. Her thighs ached and pins and needles ran up the length of her arms, but she refused to loosen her hold. She couldn’t let go of him. Each thrust, each slick slide of his body against hers, sent aftershocks through her.
His mouth rested beside her temple, his breaths warming her ear. She turned her head to catch his lips with her own, flicking her tongue inside his mouth. He shoved against her once, twice, his belly tensing as he let out a long groan and poured himself inside her.
His chest heaved against hers, his heart pounding with the release. Meg’s thighs gripped him and she tipped her head back against the wall, closing her eyes as she tried to catch her breath.
Long moments later, when the urgency had subsided and her heartbeat had finally slowed the ache in her calves and thighs registered. Meg pushed her hair from her eyes and rested her forehead against his, slowly loosening her limbs from around him.
Jack supported her with his hands at her hips and eased her back to her feet. He cupped her chin and pressed a soft kiss to her lips. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” Meg gave him a small smile, reaching down to snag her top from the floor with trembling fingers. Here it is, she thought, that awkwardness she’d dreaded. She held the bundled material against her breasts, suddenly unsure of herself for the first time since they’d begun. “It’s getting late,” she said. “I should get going.”
"Really?” Jack raised his brows and swept his thumb over her flushed cheek. “I had other ideas.”
“Oh?” she said. She watched him tug his shirt from his body. Her gaze roamed his bare chest and the desire she thought had been sated suddenly reignited. “I’m listening.”
“You’re an intelligent woman, Meg.” Jack swept her up into his arms and turned toward the bed. With a quick toss, he had her sprawled out on the mattress before him. “I’m sure you can figure it out.”